Christmas wasn’t jolly or joy-filled. Instead her heart ached over her husband’s death. She’d never really enjoyed Christmas with all its hype anyway, but now? Now she’d rather sleep it away or move to another universe. How could God allow him to be taken so close to Christmas?
There are people you meet this season that are simply making it through the holidays.
What can you do to help?
5 Tips to Walk Alongside the Not-So-Jolly
- Don’t be glib. The last thing a suffering person needs is a quick “you’ll be fine” Watch your words—they bring life or death. Choose well.
- Listen more than you talk. Listening always takes concentration. However, listening to someone who may be a “downer” during the holidays may take more effort than normal. But you give a gift when you listen well.
- Exhibit honest caring. In reality, no two situations are ever the same. The person knows you can’t fully understand what they are experiencing. So don’t tell them you do. By not trying to fix them, you show them respect. You honor their struggle, whatever it may be.
- Include the person. As much as possible, figure out ways to include the person in your celebrations according to what they desire. Is there a way you can reach out to them? Be creative. Show them they are not alone. Give them the space they need while letting them know you want to share the time with them.
- Accept their emotional state. You can’t change how they feel at the moment. Don’t try to. Instead, allow them to express their feelings when necessary.
Remember to listen, maybe even cry with them if appropriate.
After a death, the holidays are difficult at best. When I walked this road, we experienced many tears followed by laughter accompanied by sorrow. Life is different. It will never be like it was. Honor the person by accepting them right where they are.
I heard this interview about grief at Christmas and thought you might enjoy it too.
It’s called “Dealing With Grief at Christmas.” Click the picture below to listen to the 5-minute interview.
Do you enjoy Christmas or is it anything but jolly?
Leave a comment below.
Whether you find yourself in the “Christmas is my favorite time of year” camp or the “I’m moving to another universe to avoid Christmas” camp, know that you are accepted as you are.
I pray you will turn to Jesus and find comfort in His arms.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.